Agriculture Fast Track Funding
October 17, 2018, 7:32 am
The Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) is a multi-donor trust fund managed by the African Development Bank with funding support from the US government represented by USAID (US$ 12 million), the Danish Government represented by DANIDA (US$ 1.8 million) and the Swedish Government represented by Sida (US$ 10 million). It was launched on 8 May 2013 with initial funding amounting to US$ 23.80 million. AFT is housed at the Agriculture and Agro-Industry department (OSAN) of the African Development Bank.
The AFT is a grant making facility to support the preparation of agriculture infrastructure investments in Africa. The AFT is intended to support the costs of project preparation activities for financially sound, environmentally sustainable, and socially beneficial food security investments. The AFT provides grant funds to cover investment preparation costs such as business plan development, market research, financial modelling, feasibility studies, and environmental and social impact studies. The goal of the AFT is to unlock financing agriculture infrastructure projects by defraying the initial preparation costs that investment sponsors are unable to shoulder alone.
Areas of Focus
The AFT provides grant funding for the initial project development costs of a broad range of agriculture infrastructure projects spanning the entire value chain – from production to market. These can emanate from the private or public sector and from local or international businesses. The types of projects envisioned range from rural feeder roads to agro-processing and marketing facilities to out-grower schemes. Their emphasis is on projects that contribute to food security and support to smallholders.
The AFT provides support including, but not limited to:
- An environmental/hydrological study for an irrigation system that would support smallholder crop production.
- A marketing plan for an agro-processing facility supported by a nucleus farm and corresponding out-grower scheme, which will create stronger market linkages for smallholders. This would include crops, livestock and fishery products.
- Financial Modelling for a joint venture to establish a crop/ livestock/ fishery products – for example, processing operation focused on smallholder farmers that produce high-quality flour for the domestic market.
- An engineering study for the construction of an extraction and refining centre; a centre which would provide inputs and training to allow new smallholder farmers to enter the supply chain.
Agriculture Fast Track Fund has initiated its activity covering 10 African states who are members of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. These countries have entered into an agreement with the G8 to refine their policies in order to improve investment opportunities and accelerate the implementation of their country‐led Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) plans on food security.
The AFT will be extended to other countries joining the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, thus establishing a Cooperation Framework for Food Security and demonstrating commitment in agreement with the G20 countries in order to improve investment opportunities
The AFT Grant Application
The AFT Grant Application is a 3-stage process which is outlined below:
1. Eligibility Screening
Applicants are required to answer 'Yes' or 'No' 6 to questions outlined in the Eligibility Screening. Only grant applicants who pass the Eligibility Screening will have access to the Concept Note Submission stage
2. Concept Note Submission
This stage is preceded by the Eligibility Screening stage. Applicants who pass the Eligibility Screening stage will have 2 weeks to submit a Concept Note through the grant application portal on the AFT website. Applicants will be informed of the evaluation results of their Concept Notes within 4 weeks after the Concept Notes submission
3. Full Technical Application
This is preceded by the Concept Note submission stage. Only applicants whose Concept Notes pass the selection criteria will be invited within 4 weeks to submit a Full Technical Application. Applicants will be informed of the evaluation results of their Full Technical Application within 6 weeks after the Full Technical Application submission.
Applicants may address questions regarding the grant and completion of the application forms to: AFTHelp@afdb.org
To learn more about the process of applying for the ATF grant, click here